Sunday, January 06, 2008

My Broken Cow Handles: Milking Cheap Ceramic for Frugal Lessons

Those are my broken cow handles (left) posed on a kitchen counter top. Made from ceramic, the broken handles were once attached to dollar store coffee mugs. As such, the story about the broken handles has provided me with insights about frugal living, smart purchases and preservation of possessions.

About two days ago, I found the broken cow handles when I cleaned the kitchen counter tops. Tidy counter tops are linked to increased wealth, according to Feng Shui Principles about space clearning and energy work. I've been on a campaign to boost my bank account by de-cluttering my home. (My new wealth-building program.)

Beyond the lessons of tidiness and order, this is what I've learned from the broken mugs:
  • Shop Carefully: At a buck each, the cow mugs -- so cute, so different, so cheap -- came from a dollar store in our area. Shortly after we bought them, the handles fell off the cow mugs. Were we careless? Was the merchandise faulty? Should we be more careful about buying items from dollar stores? Those are a few of the questions that are now on my mind.

  • Preserve Possessions: Most of our coffee mugs are in decent shape, albeit with a few chips here and there. And clearly, the cows mugs suffered the greatest damage in record time. But honesty prompts me to confess that other mugs (not many) in my home are missing handles. Are we careless with our possessions? Do we let our dishes pile up too often? Are we mugging our coffee mugs (and bank accounts) with careless housekeeping?

  • Make Repairs Wisely: We tried to repair the cow mugs. (Super glue does not hold up in the dishwasher.) But what is the value of repairs? Does it make sense in terms of time, effort and resources? What are the risks? What if the repaired handles break while we're holding hot tea or coffee and our frugal repairs lead --heaven forbid--to an expensive emergency room visit?

  • Stay Neat: It's taken me a while to track down all of the cow handles. And I think at least one handle is still missing in action. Why are my kitchen counter tops so messy? Why did it take me so long to find the missing cow handles and why have I held onto useless handles and so much junk?

Those are a few of the questions that are running around my head as I look at the broken cow handles. I still don't know what to do with cows or the handle-less mugs. Letting go of clutter and even useless ceramic cows can be difficult.



1 comment:

Less Than a said...

I say hot (or super) glue a magnet on the back of those cows. They'd look great on your fridge door! Then put pens in the mugs and call it a day :)